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Title: Morning
Words: 415 words
Character: Alan, Charlie
Rating: PG
Summary: You get a different perspective in the morning. Sequel to Fear.
Disclaimer: I do not own Numb3rs. They belong to Cheryl and Nick.
A/N: Thanks to my wonderful Beta, JLM110108 for making sense of some of my ramblings. All other mistakes are mine.

“... me. Please Dad, I have to know.” Alan looked up, suddenly realizing Charlie was talking to him. He never heard a sound. Never heard the door close. Never heard Charlie talking to him. The shirt had put Alan into a terrible trance. It was an awful reminder of Don’s job, a reminder he didn’t want or need. Alan finally heard the anguish in Charlie’s voice. Hearing his son’s desperate voice surprised him almost as much as seeing his eldest leaning against the table earlier that evening.

“It’s not Don’s blood, Charlie. He’s fine and still at work.”

Charlie let out a sigh of relief, as he blindly reached out for the chair he was standing near. The crushing weight he felt around his heart moments ago lifted. He was able to breathe again, to think again. He was able to put away the terrifying image of his brother lying dead. His world had righted itself.

“Did Don say what happened?”

“I talked to him for a few before he left. It was a supposed to be a ‘simple’ arrest, issue an arrest warrant and take the guy Downtown. The guy had other ideas. Pull a gun from his desk, started waving it around. Some poor woman walked into his office, the guy got spooked and shot her. She died in Don’s arms.” That was the ‘simple’ explanation Don gave him and all that he could tell Charlie.

Charlie knew that Don didn’t wear a vest all the time when he made an arrest. But this time, even though he hadn't needed it, Charlie wished Don had worn one.”

Charlie just sat there a moment, letting his thoughts go. He now knew Don was going to walk through the front door again. He gave his dad a small, relieved smile.


“Dad, Dad!” Charlie said quietly, gently shaking his father’s arm. “Dad, wake up.”

Alan looked around, startled.

“Dad, you okay? You looked like you’ve seen a ghost?”

“I’m okay. What time is it?” Alan said, yawning.

“Little after seven. You stayed here all night?”

“Yeah. I just felt like I needed to be here.”

“He’ll be all right. You know that, right.”

“I know.”

Both Alan and Charlie looked toward the door, waiting. Unfortunately, it wasn’t Don who they were waiting for. It was his doctor. Don was lying in the hospital bed, on a ventilator, trying to recover from surgery.

It was Don’s blood.

It was Don who was shot.

It was all a dream.